Loren writes a great article listing may subtle similarities between a users experience offline and their online email experience.

Lesson 1: Timing is everything.

Your customers might not be ready to buy when they read your email message, or to buy exactly what you’re selling, but studies show they often use the information to shop later.

Lesson 2: Don’t hard-sell subscribers on a soft-sell list.

Make sure your email program stays consistent with subscribers’ expectations.

Lesson 3: Align your email program with brand identity.

Understand what your brand represents to your customers and what they expect of you.

Lesson 4: Don’t make readers work for benefits.

Analyze your customers to see who your best ones are.

Lesson 5: Use customer-provided information to their benefit.

If your customers have taken the time to fill out detailed demographic or preference pages, use that information to populate new forms so that they don’t have to repeat the information every time they interact with you.

Providing timely, targeted and easy to use email campaigns will allow you to have a dialogue with your users and lead to an all round better user experience. A great example of this comes from “The Email Wars” posting today.

Why Email Marketing Is Like A Resort Vacation
Posted August 22nd, 2007 by Loren McDonald